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  • HR Heartbeat: Pivoting CRA policies, happier wallets in N.L. and…

HR Heartbeat: Pivoting CRA policies, happier wallets in N.L. and…

Dive into this week’s HR Heartbeat and discover what policies the CRA has updated, why you need to report workplace accidents within 3 business days in Ontario, and lots more.

First published on Tuesday, Oct 17, 2023

Last updated on Tuesday, Oct 17, 2023

5 min read

Have you heard the latest news?

Welcome to HR Heartbeat, where we give you a rundown of the week's top employment law stories. Stay on the pulse of current trends impacting your business. Plus get up-to-the-minute commentary on all things HR and legal.

So, let's check out this week's headlines..

Pivoting CRA policies

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has updated its policy on how employers determine the Province Of Employment (POE) for remote workers, travelling representatives, and teleworker’s taxes and deductions.

Starting January 1, 2024, employers withholding obligations on Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Employment Insurance (EI) deductions will be calculated according to the province where the employee is, “attached to an establishment of their employer.”

Before this policy was introduced, full-time remote workers’ CPP and EI deductions were calculated according to their province or territory of residence.

As an employer, it’s important to update your payroll information before the end of the year to make sure you’re making the proper deductions and reporting the right information.

That’s not the only CRA policy getting a revamp this year. The CRA’s policy on employer-given gift cards for long-service awards also got a facelift. And the update is retroactive to January 1, 2023.

In the past, gift cards for long-service awards were considered a taxable benefit that did not fall under the $500 exemption.

Now, long-service awards will no longer be a taxable benefit if:

  • It’s given in recognition of 5 or more years of service.
  • It’s a non-cash gift or award.
  • The ‘fair market value’ is $500 or less including taxes.
  • It’s been ***at least 5 years* since the employee received the award.

These changes may leave you spinning, especially because tax season is just a few months away. But having guidance from employment relations specialists at your fingertips, and updated policies on gifts and long-service awards are surefire ways to stay on the right side of the law.

Shifting gears for accident reporting

The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) recently updated its set timeframes for submitting workplace accident reports from *7 to 3 business days. *

Employers in Ontario must now file an accident report to the WSIB within 3 business days of learning of a reportable accident.

Employers used to have to file reports by mail. But the WSIB portal presents an easier and quicker alternative that thankfully halves the timeframes needed to access and submit the correct forms.

This is an important update all Ontario employers must pay attention to. Failure to comply with reporting obligations is considered an offence and penalties for late reporting run into thousands of dollars and/or criminal convictions and imprisonment.

Need help reporting workplace accidents? BrightSafe’s handy incident reporting software makes it easy to document the details of every workplace accident and determine whether they need to be reported to the WSIB to meet your accident reporting obligations.

Tax cuts and happier wallets in N.L.

Thanks to a new regulation in Newfoundland and Labrador, low-income earners will be getting some money back by way of tax reductions and exemptions.

Because of their delicate economy, the province is giving a tax break to workers who’ve been hit hardest by recessionary times.

Individual workers with a taxable net income of up to $22,447 and families with a net income of up to $37,957 will not pay provincial income tax for the 2023 taxation year.

What’s more, individuals with a net income of up to $28,297 and families with a net income of up to $47,076 will also receive partial income tax reductions.

Newfoundland and Labrador employers should also keep an eye out for further changes to provincial tax deduction requirements as they may change again next year in line with the provincial Consumer Price Index.

That's it for today! Come back next week for more HR news so you stay ahead of major employment law changes.

Have more questions on similar topics and more? BrightLightning has thousands of answers to all your HR and health & safety dilemmas.

What is the applicable law to my employee if they decide work remote in a different province?

If the employee is working remotely from a different province, it is best to seek legal advice to determine what the applicable law is. It could be that the terms and conditions of the employment relationship are determined by where the company is based, or where the employee resides.

When should I report to WSIB/WCB about an employee injury in the workplace?

Workplace injuries are reportable under set circumstances. They should be reported to the worker’s compensation board if the injury requires the worker to receive medical attention, or when the injury forces them to miss any scheduled shifts or be absent from work after the date when the injury took place. If you require assistance about workplace injury reporting obligations, please call our Health & Safety advice line for situation-specific advice.

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